Thursday, June 27, 2013

College Readiness - Librarians and the Common Core

   Over 45 states across the US. have chosen to adopt the Common Core Learning Standards. The Common Core specifies that student develop critical thinking skills, and  problem solving skills need for academic success. What kinds of instruction helps student develop theses skills?

   For the most part, student are required to obtain information about a certain subject and then do something with the information..  (Student reactions, independent work, increasing the amount and complexity of the reading) So they need to discover texts( information) and apply outside approaches.

   Where does the school librarian and library fit in? Students need to discover and apply critical thinking to complex texts. The complex texts are found in the library where the librarian provides both print and electronic resources ( databases) and other  online sources.

    Students need opportunities to integrate information in various subjects areas. Librarians teach skill information skills that help student learn search and analyzing information sills, There are several data bases ( Contemporary Literacy Criticism & 21 Century Literacy Criticism  both from Gale) that contain literary analysis.

  Common Core looks beyond novel or textbook. The library and its resources support the Common core by identifying materials, and resources for instruction and assessments, Librarians contribute to CC work by collaborating, instructing a, and providing resources and materials,

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Professional Growth

   It is summertime  . Don't let your mind turn to mush! Yes , I know you are learning new tech tools! ( I hope anyway)  But what else can you learn? 
   This is a great time to attend conferences, take workshops, seminars or courses ( in person or on-line) to enhance you skills as a Media Specialist.  You may also want to think about earning an additional certificate to enhance your library degree. ( think ESL- English as a Second language, GT- gifted and talented, reading specialist, literacy education, or special education. )They add to job security.
   Your new skills and certificates may be needed at the district , enough to keep your position and assist in your new area of expertise.
  Look to your BOCES, nearby colleges, or online courses.  Check with colleagues to see what they are doing and taking over the summer. Sometimes there are group rates.  .Just having a buddy along with you  makes the course or   workshop more enjoyable and more educational. You can bounce ideas and activities off each other and  make connections with both 0f your curriculums.
    Check out some library blogs and see what they are discussing. Join in the conversation and add some comments , ideas, and thoughts. Keep thinking of ways to improve your ideas about your library and your programs.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Barefoot Ambassador

    Well I did it! I am a new ambassador for Barefoot books. You can see ( if you haven't already) I have a link to my page at Barefoot.  The books are beautiful and  very well done. I have read already quite a few and they are really  high quality and will be great for kids!!
    One of my Favorites is  Animal Boogie ( Harter & Penner) which is a watch and sing along- It comes with a Cd which is very engaging! The story told in rhyme is great for preschoolers - it describes  jungle animals  and shows them as they play.  This story also encourages movement and there are a lots of ways that  teachers and parents can use to this with their children.  The illustrations are vibrant and so much fun. There is a lot to see on each two page spread.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Technology Tuesday-Summer Goals

  In the past year, I have reviewed and learn to use many  web 2.0 tools and seen many interesting websites . Make if one your goals this summer to learn how to use maybe tow of these so that you can use them with your students and staff for the next school year,
   By using a neat web 2.0 tool with your students , they will be more engaged in their learning of the information skills you are imparting. Students in the 21st century need to be able to know about  and use these 'cool' ways ot collaborating , interacting, and collecting information.

    Make a presentation ( think power point, prezi) for your student and teacher orientation of the school library.  Teach students about  blogs or pod casts, and have them share what they are reading and learning.  Develop a wiki for students to use for collaboration on a research topic for a certain unit or lesson.

    Don't forget your staff!!  What tool can you teach them to use? Power Point, Prezi, Blogging, or podcasting? ( Just to mention a few). Do some staff development workshop[s and show them how they can  be used to engage students.

    So make a goal for the  summer , but don't just stop learning at two.  When you have mastered those, make another goal to learn two more, Let me know what you will be doing with your Web 2.0 Tool!

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Role of a Successful School Library

    To have a successful school library program, the most important recommendation is that a certified school librarian plays a strong instructional role in the school.  The librarian will be focused on informational literacy, engagement with information technology, and reading/literacy development.
    Successful school librarians also work toward high levels of instructional collaboration between the librarian and the classroom teacher. 
    It doesn't matter the size of the collection r the amount of funds spent on materials.  What matters , what is key, is the school librarian. The quality of communication and teaching by the librarian denotes the success of the library, its programs, and the success of the students in their learning.
   A successful librarian is a committed educator, a good communicator, a leaders and a team player. the staff sees the librarian as playing a powerful  role in the education of their students.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Collaboration Level 3- True Collaboration

  On this level of collaboration there is true benefit for all participants( students , teachers,, and librarians),  By this level, relationships have been defined and each member knows what he/she will be doing to further the goals of student education.
  The participants have decided on common goals and specific outcomes,  Teams work together on lessons and units. There is the commitment of the administration that this is way schools should be run. 
 There will be several projects/units each year that the librarian and teacher work on together.  Each year the activity is reviewed and tweaked as far as assignments, projects, assessment and tasks. But the commitment remains to jointly develop and assess the students progress,
  Resources are update and shared by all parties,, areas of use are shared, and teachers and librarians work together in the classroom, library, and computer lab.
  The attitude is one of cooperation, respect, and unity.  This may be one that is continually worked on but in the end the positive attitude will override any obstacles, Communication is key and this is done in similar ways to the beginning stages of collaboration, but with a more personal goal to achieve the desired outcomes,
  Is this attainable? Yes, with a lot of work and the right attitude this is the goal for librarians everywhere. Keep moving towards this model where ever you are now.

Friday, June 7, 2013

Community/ Family Activites

   As both school and public librarians, we can participate in our schools and community's in many ways.  Depending on your community, you may have  and can be a part of ( that is if you are not actually running the event)- book fairs, family reading night, school fairs and carnivals, and PTO/PTA programs. 
   Offer to help on these programs or  other activities  that you have an interest in.  Teachers, Staff, parents, and the community will see that you are a part of their team and want to help in other ways to promote reading and learning.
    We need to become more involved in the school and community activities so that we are visiable and teachers and community can see that we are an important part of  eacgh child's education. 
     This is just one way to become more visible in your community. 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

New Ideas for Book Lovers!

        I'm looking at other opportunities and challenges for librarians and book lovers.  One of the companies I am looking at is Barefoot Books. This is sort of like tupperware for book lovers and children's  books! The ambassadors host parties, attend street fairs, do fund rasing  all to sell books and educational books for children and to promote literacy and the love of reading!

      Actually ,if you  have ever seen any of the BareFoot Books , you will find them to be have high quality books with  interesting titles , especailly to the younger set of students.   The online catalog has titles and games with a variety of topcis and a global perspective.
     The reason I am doing this is becasue my position as elemetnatry librarian has been eliminated.  Two teachers assistants will run the the two elemetatry librariaes in the building that I was in.  Go figure- with the Common Core and the  need for  non-fiction,, and text complenity  and the need for students to become career and college ready.

Monday, June 3, 2013

Staff Development

     As school librarians, we need to become leaders in our schools. We ( along with administrators) are the professionals that have the overall snapshot of the school community’s instruction and curriculum. Work now with your administrators to set up a schedule for staff development for the next school year.

     One of the first staff development workshops that you can do during teacher conference days is an Orientation to the data bases that your school has. This will give everyone a push to get the teachers thinking about which ones they can use with their students. At this time, offer to help classes learn how to use databases or mention that they can be used when the classes are doing research, guided inquiry or non-fiction texts.

     During the year, listen to staff and see what they need as far as staff development. Is there a grade level that wants to infuse more technology? Set up a date and time for them to go through some of the Web 2.0 tools that you know how to use.

     Some more ideas for staff development: e-sources, primary sources, information literacy skills, streaming video sites for your state- show them how helpful they can be, digital projects, inquiry based learning, and resources for the common core.